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12 Sep 2022, 13:33
Sören Amelang

Germany to assess Swiss plan for nuclear repository near border

Clean Energy Wire

Germany will assess Switzerland’s proposal to build a deep-underground nuclear waste site close to the border between the two countries, a German environment ministry spokesperson said. "We have taken note of this decision and will examine its plausibility with our group of experts," the spokesperson said. The ministry welcomed that the process to decide the site was conducted in a "science-based and participatory" way. State secretary Christian Kühn emphasised that it is "right and important" that geology is the decisive criterion for the repository site location in Switzerland. However, he also said that the repository “poses a major burden both during the construction phase and during operation” to municipalities near the site. He did not provide details. Kühn added that he was "pushing Switzerland to continue the previous good involvement of its German neighbours."

Switzerland's National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra), which was set up by nuclear power plant operators and the government, proposed a repository site north of Zurich, just two kilometres from the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. The planned repository will accommodate all of Switzerland's radioactive waste and still needs to be approved by the Swiss government and parliament, which will take several years. In Germany, the decision on a separate final repository site for highly radioactive nuclear waste is due in 2031 at the earliest.

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